The California Statutory Will

California law provides a simple fill-in-the-blank will that any California resident can use.

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California law provides a free fill-in-the-blank will for California residents. It’s called the California statutory will and it lives in California Probate Code Section 6240. You must use the statutory will exactly as it is written. You cannot change its language; you can only fill in the blanks.

This will is simple and free, but it’s also very limited and may not meet your needs.  Use this will only if:

  • you’re in a bind and need a will immediately
  • you absolutely cannot afford to hire a lawyer or use do-it-yourself tools, or
  • this will meets your simple wishes exactly.

If you want to use the will, read it very carefully and make sure you understand what effect it will have on your property.  Then consider making a will more tailored to your situation when you have more time, when you can afford to, or when your circumstances change.

Read more about Statutory Wills.

Also read these important Questions and Answers About the California Statutory Will. 

Below is the text of the California Statutory will. Read it carefully to see if it reflects your wishes. If it does, download a printable version of the will from the website of the  California State Bar at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/.

California Statutory Will:

INSTRUCTIONS

1. READ THE WILL. Read the whole Will first. If you do not understand something, ask a lawyer to explain it to you.

2. FILL IN THE BLANKS. Fill in the blanks. Follow the instructions in the form carefully. Do not add any words to the Will (except for filling in blanks) or cross out any words.

3. DATE AND SIGN THE WILL AND HAVE TWO WITNESSES SIGN IT. Date and sign the Will and have two witnesses sign it. You and the witnesses should read and follow the Notice to Witnesses found at the end of this Will.

*You do not need to have this document notarized. Notarization will not fulfill the witness requirement.

 

 

CALIFORNIA STATUTORY WILL OF

 



________________________________________

Print Your Full Name

 

 

 

 

 

1. Will. This is my Will. I revoke all prior Wills and codicils.


2. Specific Gift of Personal Residence. (Optional--use only if you want to give your personal residence to a different person or persons than you give the balance of your assets to under paragraph 5 below.) I give my interest in my principal personal residence at the time of my death (subject to mortgages and liens) as follows:


(Select one choice only and sign in the box after your choice.)


a. Choice One: All to my spouse or domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of State, if my spouse  

 

 

 

or domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of State, survives me; otherwise to my descendants (my children and the descendants of my children)who  survive me.

|______________________________________|

 

 

 

 

b. Choice Two: Nothing to my spouse or domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of State; all to my

 

 

 

descendants (my children and the descendants of my children) who survive me.

|______________________________________|

 

 

 

 

c. Choice Three: All to the following person if he or she survives me (Insert the name of the person):

 

 

person.):

 

|______________________________________|

 

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

d. Choice Four: Equally among the following persons who survive me (Insert the names of two or more

 

 

 

persons.):

|______________________________________|

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

3. Specific Gift of Automobiles, Household and Personal Effects. (Optional--use only if you want to give automobiles and household and personal effects to a different person or persons than you give the balance of your assets to under paragraph 5 below.) I give all of my automobiles (subject to loans), furniture, furnishings, household items, clothing, jewelry, and other tangible articles of a personal nature at the time of my death as follows:


(Select one choice only and sign in the box after your choice.)


a. Choice One: All to my spouse or domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of State, if my

 

 

 

spouse, domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of         State, survives me; otherwise to my descendants (my children and the descendants of my children) who survive me.

|______________________________________|

 

 

 

 

b. Choice Two: Nothing to my spouse or domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of State; all to my

 

 

 

descendants (my children and the descendants of my children) who survive me.

|______________________________________|

 

 

 

 

c. Choice Three: All to the following person if he or she survives me (Insert the name of the

 

 

 

person.):

|______________________________________|

 

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

d. Choice Four: Equally among the following persons who survive me (Insert the names of two or

 

 

 

more persons.):

|______________________________________|

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________



 

 

 

 

4. Specific Gifts of Cash. (Optional) I make the following cash gifts to the persons named below who survive me, or to the named charity, and I sign my name in the box after each gift. If I do not sign in the box, I do not make a gift. (Sign in the box after each gift you make.)


5. Balance of My Assets. Except for the specific gifts made in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above, I give the balance of my assets as follows:


(Select one choice only and sign in the box after your choice. If I sign in more than one box or if I do not sign in any box, the court will distribute my assets as if I did not make a Will.)


a. Choice One: All to my spouse or domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of State, if my spouse

 

 

 

or domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of State, survives me; otherwise to my descendants (my children and the descendants of my children) who survive me.

|______________________________________|

 

 

 

 

b. Choice Two: Nothing to my spouse or domestic partner, registered with the California Secretary of State; all to my

 

 

 

descendants (my children and the descendants of my children) who survive me.

|______________________________________|

 

 

 

 

c. Choice Three: All to the following person if he or she survives me (Insert the name of the

 

 

 

person.):

|______________________________________|

 

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

d. Choice Four: Equally among the following persons who survive me (Insert the names of two or

 

 

 

more persons.):

______________________________________

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

6. Guardian of the Child's Person. If, at my death, I have a child under age 18, whether the child is alive at the time this will is executed or born after the date this will is executed, and the child does not have a living parent, I nominate the individual named below as First Choice as guardian of the person of that child (to raise the child). If the First Choice does not serve, then I nominate the Second Choice, and then the Third Choice, to serve. Only an individual (not a bank or trust company) may serve.



Name of First Choice for Guardian of the Person



 

Name of Second Choice for Guardian of the Person



 

Name of Third Choice for Guardian of the Person



7. Special Provision for Property of Persons Under Age 25. (Optional--unless you use this paragraph, assets that go to a child or other person who is under age 18 may be given to the parent of the person, or to the Guardian named in paragraph 6 above as guardian of the person until age 18, and the court will require a bond, and assets that go to a child or other person who is age 18 or older will be given outright to the person. By using this paragraph you may provide that a custodian will hold the assets for the person until the person reaches any age from 18 to 25 which you choose.) If a beneficiary of this Will is under the age chosen below, I nominate the individual or bank or trust company named below as First Choice as custodian of the property. If the First Choice does not serve, then I nominate the Second Choice, and then the Third Choice, to serve.


 

Name of First Choice for Custodian of Assets



 

Name of Second Choice for Custodian of Assets



 

Name of Third Choice for Custodian of Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insert any age from 18 to 25 as the age for the person to receive the property:

 

 

 

 

 

(If you do not choose an age, age 18 will apply.)

 

 

 

 

 

8. Executor. I nominate the individual or bank or trust company named below as First Choice as executor. If the First Choice does not serve, then I nominate the Second Choice, and then the Third Choice, to serve.


 

Name of First Choice for Executor



 

Name of Second Choice for Executor



 

Name of Third Choice for Executor



9. Bond. My signature in this box means a bond is not required for any person named as executor. A bond may be required if I do not sign in this box:


No bond shall be required.



(Notice: You must sign this Will in the presence of two (2) adult witnesses. The witnesses must sign their names in your presence. You must first read to them the following sentence.)


This is my Will: I ask the persons who sign below to be my witnesses.

 

 

 

Signed on ____________________ at ____________________, California.

____________________________________________________________________

Signature of Maker of Will


 




(Notice to Witnesses: Two (2) adults must sign as witnesses. Each witness must read the following clause before signing. The witnesses should not receive assets under this Will.)


Each of us declares under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the following is true and correct:


a. On the date written below the maker of this Will declared to us that this instrument was the maker's Will and requested us to act as witnesses to it;


b. We understand this is the maker's Will;


c. The maker signed this Will in our presence, all of us being present at the same time;


d. We now, at the maker's request, and in the maker's presence, sign below as witnesses;


e. We believe the maker is of sound mind and memory;


f. We believe that this Will was not procured by duress, menace, fraud or undue influence;


g. The maker is age 18 or older; and


h. Each of us is now age 18 or older, is a competent witness, and resides at the address set forth after his or her name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dated: ______________________________, __________

 


_________________________________________________________ 

Signature of witness

________________________________________________________

 Signature of witness

 

 

 

Print name here:

Print name here:

 

______________________________________

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

Residence address:

Residence address:

 

______________________________________

______________________________________

 

______________________________________

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

AT LEAST TWO WITNESSES MUST SIGN

 

 

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